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Newcastle’s Rafa ready for special visit from old pals Liverpool

Britain Soccer Premier League

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez gestures on the touchline during the game against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at St James’ Park in Newcastle, England, Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)


Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is a Liverpool legend, and expects some anxious feelings when the Reds visit St. James Park on Sunday.'s

[ MORE: Dele gets England suspension ]

Current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had mostly glowing things to say about Benitez earlier Friday, and Benitez issued similar vibes.

While the Reds aren’t wearing, well, red -- that’ll come March 3 at Anfield -- Benitez admits it’s going to be wild seeing Liverpool as his opposition.

“It’s a special game for me. It will be emotional. At the same time, we will try our best and will try to win. My family still lives (on Merseyside) and there are a lot of connections. I have to focus on Newcastle United.

“The fans and the cities have a lot of similarities. The accent is hard - both the Scouse and Geordie accents... I’m very bad at both.”

The bad news for Newcastle? Liverpool has been defying the odds by not converting myriad quality scoring chances, and statistically feels due for a big day. Sunday could be it, to Rafa’s double chagrin.

Follow @NicholasMendola